Wednesday 30 March 2016

WOW: Cherry Delight!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Nope, it's not another Sweet 2016 block although its certainly a suitable theme. It's my new cherry tablecloth! Isn't it cute? I found it in an Op Shop. Now, I am one of those people who just loves rummaging through Op Shops and the thing is, I always find a treasure. And this sometimes proves to be an issue because no one else in my family seems to appreciate my eye for style and overlooked items of beauty. So mostly I have to admire and leave things behind. Actually, most of the time my DD's won't even let me stop by an Op Shop when we're out so I've missed out on seeing what's new lately. But last week I got lucky and I simply couldn't leave it in the shop.

I confess that I bought it on the sly, whilst my DD was in the Newsagency. I was going to cut it up for the cherries, but I just love it and don't think I will now. I think I actually will use it as an afternoon tea tablecloth! I can tell you, it was worth smuggling home. After washing it (I was worried about the texture as it's screen printed) I gave it an iron and told my DD I had purchased it. Well, she loves it and has no idea I purchased it around the corner from the Newsagency and happily snapped these images for me to show off here on my blog.

I think it's so funny that next time, I might even tell her where it came from. But for today, it's just our secret, OK?

Are there any things which you have to 'smuggle' into the house?

What's Your WOW?

Friday 25 March 2016

What I'm Listening To This Easter

Whenever someone visits me at home, they always ask what I have on in the background? It's a beautiful ambient noise that doesn't distract or interfere with anything else I'm doing or conversations I might be having. I've been listening to it long enough now that I forget the impact it had on me when I first started listening. But I'm reminded each time someone visits and remarks on how it feels to be in my home. The only difference since their last visit is Wholetones.  

I don't usually listen to the radio or music as background distraction as I go about my day, so when I was first given Wholetones by my daughter, I wondered if I'd get any use from it at all. Well, six months on, I can tell you I certainly have. I don't really think of it as music, but more of creating an ambient environment, and now I wouldn't be without it. 

For those of you who haven't heard, Wholetones is a set of 7 tracks set to a particular frequency and these frequencies effect mood and perception. You may have heard of frequency music before and perhaps even sampled it - don't worry, I can assure you - this is nothing like the new age buzzing tones you may have come across. I don't take part in the 'new age' movement and Wholetones is in no way associated with any of those. It's just quality music tuned to specific instrument frequencies to promote wellness and ease. And I can tell you, it really works.

Why not have a listen and hear it for yourself?

Wednesday 23 March 2016

WOW: It's Easter Project Time!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
WIPs are funny things. You work so hard to get a quilt done and then, for no explicable reason, it just doesn't feel finished. Has that ever happened to you? I felt this way about Oma's Blues -so much so that I broke my own 'rule' and re-released it this year as a free BOM, I normally never do this but I just couldn't finish it and then ignore it after so much hard work. I really felt like I didn't do it justice during the first release, so it's getting a whole new lease of life over on Facebook where it has its own Group and blocks are released monthly, for free.
This all gets me thinking about Easter last year. I had just started on my own Oma when I released the 'Oma themed' Easter Project. Well, you know how Oma's Blues is inspired by Delft ware? The City of Delft used my image over on their Facebook page!

Honestly I was so honored and happy to see my little ode to Delft sit right in with the city..but dismayed that they didn't even think to credit my work or image. And then, when it was pointed out to them - they simply deleted the post and ignored the whole thing! It was so strange. All they had to do was acknowledge me as the designed of the image they were showing off and then we could have all been happy - why are the fundamental basics of good manners so hard to impress upon people nowadays?

I can't wait to see Delft myself one of these days, its a dream of mine, and of course, when I do I'll pick up my own Delft ware to pass down to my own daughters. Now, although my Oma is finished and looking beautiful up on the wall, I still haven't finished my Oma Easter WIP! I've really got no excuse given that this is now the second year I am releasing the Easter Applique project. I had thought about using it as am appliqued centre table decoration, or mini wall hanging or cushion...but it's still a WIP. Maybe this year I can finally get around to changing that!

Download this applique project over in my Esther's Blog Quilt BOM Group, or the Oma's Blues Group or if you don't want to go to Facebook, you can CLICK HERE NOW to download it instantly.

What's your WOW This Easter?

Saturday 19 March 2016

The Quilt Show GIVEAWAY!

The Quilt Show has asked me to share their International Quilting Weekend Giveaway with you all and I'm delighted to have the link right here for you to enter into the draw to win over $11,000 worth of quilting prizes!

When you click this link, it will ask you for your name and email, fill it out as your official "entry" for these fabulous prizes!

Good luck everyone!

Over 220 Free Shows & Amazing Prizes

Do you love quilting?

The Quilt Show, with hosts Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, is an online worldwide quilting WebTV show and magazine all in one. There are hundreds of shows, amazing award-winning guest artists from all over the world, demos and discussions, tips and tricks galore, articles, slideshows, patterns and puzzles, all at your fingertips whenever you want to watch them. It's all in chapters so you can watch and then get back to quilting!

Friday 18 March 2016

Giveaway Time!

UPDATE: The winners have been announced below: Nancy, Billie and Joke. Ladies, if you haven't heard from me, please make contact so I can arrange to have your prizes sent out to you :)

What a fabulous weekend, I'm spending it at home, quilting of course! And you? How about leaving a comment to go into the draw to win one of these prizes? It's open worldwide and winners will be drawn at random. And this is just the start, tomorrow courtesy of The Quilt Show there'll be more opportunities and fun to be had, so be sure to come back.

Today, The Fat Quarter Shop, Green Fairy Quilts and Yours Truly want to get the weekend off to the right kind of start with some lovely giveaways to celebrate this weekend and our love of quilting. 

UPDATE: The jelly roll has been won by Nancy! 

Who doesn't love a Jelly Roll? And given that it's International Quilting Weekend, 'Bee Creative" just tickled me pink - what a perfect prize to kick start this fabulously creative weekend that celebrates the ingenuity and workmanship of quilting! Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for their generosity this weekend.


The lovely folks at Green Fairy Quilts can't wait to help you find your next must have favorite fabric, so head in and have a look! Thanks to Green Fairy Quilts for their generosity this weekend.

UPDATE: The $25 voucher has been won by Billie! 

This one's on me. I'm giving one lucky reader the chance to win this favorite book of mine, shipped straight to you from the Book Depository. This is one title I'm always recommending and this weekend I'm happy to share my love of this title with another quilter. For everything you need to know about applique, this book is my most recommended resource. 

UPDATE: The book has been won by Joke! 

Wednesday 16 March 2016

WOW: Trying New Things

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This week I've been playing around with crayons as a painting tool and technique for brushing over fabrics and prints to create new textures. I've done this a lot with acrylic paints, but not with crayons so it's been a learning experience for me. I always like to try new things and reconsidering better ways to do things I already do. And I really like the idea of brushing over a gentle hue on an existing fabric print. As I make my sweets for Sweet 2016 I have often been faced with a good fabric that is missing some speckling or little touches that would make it perfect. I like tailoring my work to make it fit my vision, so the idea of painting with these crayons really appealed.

Now, I've only just started so I can't give you a review or tutorial yet. So far, I love using paint brushes with the crayons and water to create 'wash' watercolor style touches, but don't love the fact that it turned my white fabric a dull yellow. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but this is a major set back. I'll keep playing and look into this and when I'm satisfied that I know enough to share, I'll put a tutorial up here on the blog for you to see more.

What about you? Have you used crayons to enhance fabrics as a quilting technique? 

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Hazel & Little Hazel: Part 3

[UPDATE] Since launching Part 3, Glenda noticed (and I'm ever thankful to her!) that TEMPLATE F had the grain line pointing in the wrong direction! This is an annoying but important detail. Please re-download the Part 3 pattern (page 2) to view the correct grain line for TEMPLATE F.

This month we are working on the zig zag circular points and adding in the background. You can opt to piece in the background as I have by sewing them in, or you can stitch your completed centre circle onto a background fabric. Last month a lot of you learnt the value of patience and practice in perfecting your piecing technique! It really does take time and practice but the results are well worth the effort. 

I've really loved seeing all the Hazels and Little Hazels come together and taken aback by how many 'live' Hazels are being made right now and shown over in my Facebook BOM Group - it's a fabulous spot to share what you're doing and get any needed advice. For those of you still struggling with your Y seams, please go back and re-read my post about how to make Part 2. You can find all Hazel related posts in the Hazel archive at the top of this page. It's the perfect place to read up on techniques and see how I did it myself. Make sure Part 2 is made accurately and sitting flat before moving on to Part 3. 

These are what your Templates look like in Part 3. Take note that there is an inside curve and an outside curve. Ignore my G & H sample markings, these templates are known as E & F.
Here are the two fabrics I have opted for, notice that their sides do not match in the length
 Bring them together to create pairs, right sides facing inward
and stitch them together
Like this. Again, notice that the top and bottom of my first triangle is longer than the green - don't try to correct this, it's not an error
Now line up your next connecting piece
so when you line up this next piece, it meets up
like this
this is where I start stitching, you can see my stitch line here
this is how the seams go, I've finger pressed my seams towards the darker (red) side
this is how they look from the front
I've notched every one of my triangles in the middle out of habit for accurate reference when sewing, so I always know where the middle is. 
Then I line up my stitched together zig zag rim to check for accuracy before sewing in
Then I stitch it in
Next, when the ring was completed, I stitched in my background.

My background in this image is a striped background so I adjusted my pattern to create a specific look, don't be distracted by this - follow the pattern. In fact, since this photo was taken, I have since changed my background back to a print fabric. 
And this is what the seams look like inside

An important note on ironing: in my own opinion and experience, you shouldn't press your blocks in between creating them. I have not ironed or pressed any part of my entire centre block - and won't until the centre is complete. Then I will press it before adding my side blocks. When you iron or press, you can easily distort the pieces. And it's just not necessary - it doesn't add accuracy. I only ever finger press and I work and as you can see, my pieces fit perfectly.

This post is related to Part 3 of my current free BOMs "Hazel' and 'Little Hazel'
To join my Quilt BOM Group over on Facebook, click the image above

Don't like Facebook? You can download Part 3 files of Hazel and Little Hazel right here on this blog, right now:

Monday 14 March 2016

Sweet 2016: Making Raspberry Charlotte

Once you've read through and accurately printed and constructed your pattern this month, it's time to consider fabrics. I'm not going to say this part is easy - fabric selection is one of the hardest things for me! I was thinking about a beige range of fabrics, but once I set my eyes on these stash options in streaked gold and mottled gold, I knew I'd found my outer biscuits. Then I set out some pinks I thought could work as my raspberry part and put them out to look over as I consider the best way to create my applique pieces.
Here I am, my pattern pieces carefully drawn on fusible and cut out with a scalpel. Use a light box if necessary to trace the pieces accurately - you really need to keep an eye on tracing the pattern pieces correctly. You don't want your shapes to 'grow'. To have a nice neat finished block, every little piece needs to be kept in check at every stage.
Here are all my cut out pieces
I'm using the fusible applique method - it's the easiest and fastest way to get the shapes down
especially when dealing with so many thin flimsy pieces
and you don't have to turn edge if you don't want to - raw edge is fine

I had actually planned on making all of Sweet 2016 raw edge, but forgot when I started my macaroons and then found myself turn edging everything! What can I say? After LE, turn edging has become second nature to me!
These slivers are the shaded biscuit area that create depth between the biscuits. I had considered a darker gold (which would have worked) but ended up deciding on this deep chocolate with gold detail to tie it in. I just liked the contrast.
Here are the two shapes that create each biscuit
The gold outer biscuit and the lighter inner shape below. 
Here I am carefully turn edging each shape. I'm using glue to keep it in place. I only ever use Elmer's Glue for this as it's not a glue, but actually a starch which washes away easily. 
You can see how I leave the fusible in and turn my edge on it

I mention this because, over the whole shape of the block, turn edging can add mms on each shape which can add up by the end. To stop this happening, I cut out my shapes on the line, instead of immediately next to it. and this takes off an extra 1-2mm which will be added when I turn my edge. It sounds like such a small trick, but it really helps keep my applique pieces accurate. 
and this is how it looks against my pattern. I check every single piece as I'm making it
I pin the pieces in place as I move onto the next overlapping ones
If any shapes have grown, I immediately re-adjust the edge until it fits the pattern
front and back of the biscuits
coming along nicely
and once the biscuit pieces are all dine, this is what they look like from the back
when I'm sure my biscuits are right, I add the biscuit edges - the contrast shade from the back
and it looks like this
and here is the front
Remember that each dome has it's own size each month - so follow the pattern. Don't make any ahead or assume they will be the same - they aren't. 

Because of the light, you can't see my dome so well in this image, but I have opted for a milky background and on this dome I have not added any lacing or fringe - whether you add a decorative fringe on your own dome is a matter of personal preference. 

And here's the happy dollop of cream to top my lovely Raspberry Charlotte
For now, I've pinned my dome in place on my current but temporary background. 
I haven't decided on my final backing fabric, but am having fun plating around whilst I look. 
'Raspberry Charlotte'

'Sweet 2016' is my current Mystery Applique BOM
It's just $3.95 per month
Delivered digitally, to your email inbox each month

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